bigstock-Humanitarian-food-for-poor-chi-36558889 (2)On November 20, 2014, due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for Temporary Protected Status, TPS, for 18 months.

The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.

To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present” in the United States since Nov. 21, 2014.  Applicants also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS.

Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum may apply for TPS. If they do not apply for TPS within the initial 180-day registration period, they risk being ineligible for TPS because they will have missed the initial registration period. Liberians covered by DED who already possess or have applied for an EAD do not need to also apply for one related to this TPS designation. However, such individuals who are granted TPS may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.

Applicants may also apply for the Fee Waiver based on demonstrated inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, along with accompanying their request with supporting documents.

Additional information on TPS for Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and other countries – including guidance on eligibility, the application process, and where to file – is available online at www.uscis.gov/tps.

Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm have helped many immigrants to obtain TPS, avoid deportation and legalize their status in the United States. To explore your immigration options, please contact us at +1-703-527-1779 or by e-mail: [email protected].